Listen: Librarian Nicole Yule shares her Christmas holiday reading recommendations for 2021
With Christmas around the corner, librarian Nicole Yule has a number of holiday reading recommendations.
This year has been a stressful year for many but, if you’re looking to recharge the batteries over the Christmas break, Hope Breakfast’s literary expert Nicole Yule has some suggestions to get you reading.
Fictional page turner
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
The Rose Code is set in Bletchley Park, during WWII, where the best codebreakers worked – trying to decipher the German codes, to anticipate attacks.
The story follows the journey of a brilliant young female codebreaker, who has been imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital following the war. At first, it appears that she had a mental breakdown but, as the story unfolds, it is revealed she was betrayed by a mole, who has orchestrated her imprisonment. Now, the codebreakers must work to crack one final code, and discover the mole of Bletchley Park.
The Rose Code is a gripping historical thriller that will have readers on edge, until the final pages.
Light holiday read
Thursdays at Orange Blossom House by Sophie Green
Set in 1993 in Far North Queensland, Thursdays at Orange Blossom focus on three women – Grace Maud, Patricia and Dorothy – who become unlikely friends when they meet at the local yoga studio.
Grace Maud, 74, had to stop work on her family’s sugar cane farm, due to age concerns. Patricia is a single high school teacher in her 40s, who has been left to take care of her aging parents and Dorothy is a young woman struggling to conceive the baby she and her husband desire. The three characters find connection with each other and are able to help each other through their struggles, in different ways.
Similar to Sophie Green’s previous novels, the book celebrates the power of female friendship and, despite being chosen as a light holiday read, has well-developed characters and a strong narrative, which will leave readers satisfied at the end.
Flash Jim: The Astonishing Story of the Convict Fraudster who Wrote Australia’s First Dictionary by Kel Richards
Flash Jim brings to light a character from Australian history that readers may not be familiar with – Englishman James Hardy Vaux, a convict con artist who was transported to Australia on three separate occasions.
The book covers the journey of James’ early life, how he fell into a criminal lifestyle and ended up being transported to Australia. While in Australia, James discovered that police and magistrates were often confused by the language the convicts spoke because it was “flash” language – slang spoken by convicts and criminals. So, James wrote a dictionary of those words to help out officials, with many of those words still a part of Australian slang today.
Nicole found this a really engaging read, especially reading through the dictionary, which was included as part of the book, and learning about the many words still in the Australian vocabulary which were coined by convicts.
Hear more about these books from Nicole Yule in the player above.